Many people feel great after exercising, and those who maintain a regular exercise routine can enjoy higher energy levels, mental clarity, and the myriad other health benefits that exercise offers. What’s often hard to overcome are those feelings before exercise. We know exercise is good for us but sometimes it’s just too tempting to hit that snooze button. Before you know it it’s been weeks since you last exercised. We get it, sometimes finding and maintaining motivation is hard. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our ten tips & tricks to get motivated for exercise below:
1. Do something you love
This one may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people ‘should’ themselves into trying to maintain an exercise routine with something they hate. Exercise can be challenging but if it’s something you dread doing every single time and you hate every moment of it then it’s unlikely motivation is going to come to you. Leave the should’s behind and think about what you like. It’s important to just move your body so pick from any number of activities that involve just that. Experiment with different types of exercises and movements if you’re not sure yet what it is you love.
If you’ve never tried pilates before give it a try. We often hear that pilates is the thing that sticks for most people. It’s low impact and feels great on your body plus you can adjust the difficulty levels to suit you. Don’t just take our word for it though, see for yourself.
2. Start small
You don’t have to go hard and push yourself to the extreme to feel the benefits of exercise so be gentle with yourself. If you’re just starting out then start small. Don’t expect yourself to be able to do everything straight away. Push yourself a little past your comfort zone but if you need to rest then rest. You are only in competition with yourself so if you’ve just started then you’re already winning. If you’ve hit a motivational slump or are having a bad day then remind yourself that you’re allowed to take it easy. Give your workout 80% instead of your usual 100% and remember that you can always give it your all another time. Right now just doing something is a feat to be proud of.
3. Make a commitment
Make a commitment to yourself and your exercise routine by planning ahead and making it as easy as possible for future you to show up. Put exercise in your diary at least a week in advance and make it a non-negotiable. Plan around it and organise your schedule with exercise in mind. If you know you have an early morning workout the next day then pack your gym bag the night before or if you know you have a workout in the evening then plan your snacks accordingly for optimum energy levels.
4. Set goals
Set goals but, more importantly, make sure they’re realistic. Remember that goals can change. If you start off with a goal of five days a week and find that isn’t working for you then adjust and don’t beat yourself up. Go down to less days a week and keep in mind that you can always aim for five days down the line. Make sure your goal is valuable to you. If you set five days a week as a goal and it’s an arbitrary number you’re not going to be sure why you’re doing it but if your goal is five days a week because you want to strengthen your muscles then that is more likely to keep you going.
5. Find a routine that works for you
Don’t set an alarm for 5:30am to get to your workout class by 6am if you’re not a morning person. This will likely lead to the snooze button and demotivating feelings of failure. Can you do a lunch time class instead? Depending on your schedule and preferences different routines may work for you. Perhaps you’re most energetic in the evening or tend to have more time on the weekends. Start with whatever you can do and build a habit. As it gets easier you can try to adjust your schedule to suit you even better. Whether that’s starting work earlier and finishing later so you can make your class or fitting in a class on your way home from work.
6. Find sources of inspiration
Find your inspiration. Whether that’s saving motivational quotes for those days when you need a little boost, or having an inspirational screensaver as your background. Find something that reminds you why you’re doing this. Or, failing that, get yourself a new exercise outfit that you can’t wait to wear and makes you feel good.
7. Exercise with a friend
Not only is exercising with a friend more fun and less intimidating, it makes you accountable to someone other than yourself. You’re far less likely to press that snooze button when you know someone is waiting for you. It’s also a great way to stay social and reap the mental health benefits of regularly seeing loved ones. Win win!
At Vive Active we know how beneficial exercising with a friend is so when you refer a friend to Vive Active they get a free class and, if they go on to sign up or purchase a pack, you get $30 added to your account. That’s another win win!
8. Reward yourself
Now we don’t mean treat yourself to a chocolate bar after every workout, rather set some realistic goals and once you’ve achieved them, celebrate your win! For example if you set a goal of doing five classes in one week and you do it then treat yourself to something that is meaningful to you whether that be a nourishing meal, a relaxing evening on the couch or anything that makes you feel good. On the flip side of this coin, try not to beat yourself up too much if you didn’t achieve what you wanted, it’s counterproductive. If you didn’t meet your goal, determine why, perhaps you need to break down the goal further and take it slowly. Use it to learn and grow.
9. mix it up
If you’re feeling a bit bored or demotivated with your exercise routine it may be time to mix it up. For example if you’re only doing the Vive Total classes why not try a circuit or fusion class? Or take some time to yourself to de-stress with a stretch class. Beyond mixing up the type of exercises you’re doing, maybe your boredom is showing you that it’s time to level up. Try pushing yourself and doing something a little more challenging than you’re used to.
10. Overcoming disruptions
It can be extra challenging to get back into a routine when you’ve had to take a break for something such as illness or a holiday. In this situation all the above tips and tricks still apply but particularly start small. Be gentle with yourself and set a pace you’re comfortable with. If you’re finding it really difficult just do something. Sign up for one class, attend that one class and take it as easy as you have to. Don’t think too far into the future when you’re getting back into your routine and exercising X times a week. Simply focus on making it to that one class and how you’ll feel after.
We hope these tips and tricks will help you get out of that slump. In the long run your body will thank you for it. Always remember it gets easier with time and it’s important to adjust and roll with the punches rather than chasing perfection.